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B 0 0 K I.
I WHO ere while the happy garden fung,

By one man's disobedience lost, now sing
Recover'd Paradise to all mankind,



Milton's Paradise Regain'd has not met with Lo, 1 the man, whose Muse whileom did mask, the approbation that it deserves. It has not As time her taught, in lowly shepherds weeds, the harmony of numbers, the fublimity of Am now enforc'd a far unfitter task, thought, and the beauties of diction, which For trumpets stern to change mine daten reeds are in Paradise Lost. It is composed in a 3 c. lower and less striking stile, a stile fuited to

2. By one man's disobedience] The opposition the subject

. Artful sophistry, false reasoning of one man's disobedience in this verse to one fet off in the most specious manner, and re- man's obedience in ver. 4. is somewhat in the futed by the Son of God with strong unaf- stile and manner of St. Paul. Rom. V. 19. For fected eloquence, is the peculiar excellence of as by one man's disobedience many were made this poem. Satan there defends a bad cause finners; so by the obedience of one shall many be with great skill and subtlety, as one thoroughly made rightecus. versed in that craft;

3. Recover'd Paradise] It may seem a little Qui facere affuerat

odd at first, that Milton should impute the Candida de nigris, et de candentibus atra.

recovery of Paradise. to this short scene of our His character is well drawn. Fortin. Saviour's life upon earth, and not rather ex

1. I who :ere wbile &c] Milton begins his tend it to his agony, crucifixion &c; but the Paradise Regain'd in the same manner as the reason no doubt was, that Paradise regain’d by Paradise Loft; first proposes his subject, and our Saviour's resisting the temptations of Sathen invokes the assistance of the Holy Spirit. tan might be a better contrast to Paradise lost The beginning I who ere wbile &c is plainly by our first parents too easily yielding to the an allusion to the Ille ego qui quondam &c attri- fame seducing Spirit. Befides he might very buted to Virgil: but it doth not therefore fol- probably, and indeed very reasonably, be apdow, that Milton had no better taste than to prehensive, that a subject fo extensive as well conceive these lines to be genuin. Their being as sublime might be too great a burden for his so well known to all the learned was reason declining constitution, and a task too long sufficient for his imitation of them, as it was for the short term of years he could then hope for Spenser's before him:

for. Even in his Paradise Loft he expresses B 2


By one man's firm obedience fully try'd
Through all temptation, and the tempter foil'd 5
In all his wiles, defeated and repuls’d,
And Eden rais'd in the waste wilderness.

Thou Spi'rit who ledst this glorious eremite
Into the desert, his victorious field,
Against the spiritual foe, and brought'st him thence 10
By proof th’undoubted Son of God, inspire,


his fears, lest he had begun too late, and left even in that narrow view of a sequel, for it en age too late, or cold climate, or years pould affords the poet no opportunity of driving the bave damp'd bis intended wing; and surely he Devil back again to Hell from his new conhad much greater cause to dread the same now, quests in the air. In the mean time nothing and be very cautious of launching out too far. was easier than to have invented a good one,

Thyer. which should end with the resurrection, and

comprise these four books, somewhat conIt is hard to say whether Milton's wrong no- tracted, in an episode, for which only the subtions in divinity led him to this defective plan; ject of them is fit. Warburton. or his fondness for the plan influenced those

7. And Eden rais'd in the waste wilderness. ] notions.

That is whether he indeed supposed There is, I think, a particular beauty in this the redemption of mankind (as he here repre- line, when one considers the fine allusion in it fents it) was procured by Christ's triumph over the Devil in the wilderness; or whether he

to the curse brought upon the Paradisiacal

- Cursed is the thought that the scene of the desert opposed earth by the fall of Adam,

Thorns also and thistles to that of Paradise, and the action of a tempta- ground for thy fake tion withstood to a temptation fall’n under, fell it bring forth.

Thyer. made Paradise Regain'd a more regular fequel 8. Thou Spi'rit who ledit this glorious eremite] to Paradise Loft. Or if neither this nor that, The invocation is properly address’d to the whether it was his being tired out with the la- Holy Spirit, not only as the inspirer of every bor of composing Paradise Loft made him good work, but as the leader of our Saviour averse to another work of length (and then he upon this occasion into the wilderness. For it would never be at a loss for fanciful reasons to is said Mat. IV. 1. Then was Jesus led up of the determin him in the choice of his plan) is very Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the uncertain. All that we can be sure of is, that Devil. And from the Greek original senleos the plan is a very unhappy one, and defective the desert, and senustas an inhabitant of the



As thou art wont, ny prompted song else mute,
And bear through highth or depth of nature's bounds
With prosp'rous wing full summ’d, to tell of deeds
Above heroic, though in secret done,
And unrecorded left through many an age,
Worthy thave not remain’d so long unsung.

Now had the great Proclamer, with a voice
More awful than the sound of trumpet, cry'd


II. St.


desert, is rightly formed the word eremite, says. There was therefore no occasion for readwhich was used before by Milton in his Para- ing as some body proposed, dise Lost III. 474.

With prosp'rous wing full plum'd. Embryo's and idiots, eremites and friers:

14. and by Fairfax in his translation of Tasso, Cant.

to tell of deeds

Above heroic,] Alluding perhaps in the turn 4

of expression to the first verse of Lucan, Next morn the bishops twain, the eremite:

Bella per Emathios plusquam civilia campos, and in Italian as well as in Latin there is ere- Jusque datum sceleri canimus. Thyer. mita, which the French, and we afrer them, contract into hermite, hermit.


Repentance, and Heav'n's kingdom nigh at hand 13. of nature's bounds] To which he con

To all baptiz'd:] John preached repentance fines himself in this poem, not as in Paradise

and the approach of Christ's kingdom. Ask Loft, where he foars above and without the

-- to whom ? and the answer is to all bapbounds of nature. VII. 21. Richardson.

tiz'd. Doth not this seem to imply, that the 14. With prosprous wing full summ'd] We great prophet baptized before he preached ? and had: the like expression in Paradise Loft that none could be admitted to hear him with

out this previous immerfion? Whereas in the They summ'd their pens

nature of things as well as the Gospel history,

his preaching must be, and was preparatory to and it was noted there that it is a term in fal. his baptism. One might read conry A hawk is said to be full summid, when all his feathers are grown, when he

nigh at hand, wants nothing of the sum of his feathers, cui

Baptizing all : nihil de fumma pennarum deeft, as Skinner But this may be thought too distant from the


VII. 421.

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